Saturday, August 9, 2014

The dry dropper

The cardinal flowers are in bloom
Lately, fishing has been slow.  I did go out a couple times last week but had minimal returns for the effort, hooking a handfull  nymphing various spots on the Farmington river but for some reason most of them managed to release themselves!

So with the cooler dry weather yesterday, I had hopes for a better day.  There really wasn't much going on early afternoon.  Again the nymphing was unproductive so about mid afternoon I decided to head upriver to some pocket water and fish a stimulator with bead head pheasant tail soft hackle tied off the back.  It was a ton of fun watching a couple big rainbows and a nice brown crush the stimulator in the riffles or come up and nail the pheasant tail and drag the stimulator under with authority.  I really like fishing this type of rig because the fish are attracted to the larger fly and even if they aren't interested in it, the dropper is just sitting there begging to be eaten. I've watched fish follow the stimulator for a little and then turn on the dropper at the last minute.

A hefty Farmington rainbow that turned on the pheasant tail dropper
The afternoon was made even more pleasant when a pair ospreys began calling to each other high in a tall pine tree.  One would cruise down the river and then return to the other.  I couldn't tell if it was an adult returning to young or a mate but it was fun to watch and listen to.  It's too bad I only had my small waterproof camera with me.  It does a decent job close up but the osprey in flight was too high to get a decent shot so I just enjoyed watching them rather than fiddling with the camera..

As the afternoon shadows began to lengthen, I headed to a spot that I thought I had a good chance to find some rising fish.  Sure enough, as the temperature dropped the fish started rising to something small.  There were a lot of olives on the water so I decided to give the olive flymphs I recently tied a trial run. I picked up two solid fish that crushed the flymph as it was drifting in the film and then when straight to the bottom and played tug of war.  I got both within a leader length but never got a look at either before the hook pulled out.  After I lost the second fish, I took a look at the fly and sure enough the hook was bent open.  I guess the mustad R50 dry fly hook I tied these on wasn't beefy enough so I will tie some more on some TMC-100 hooks which are a little sturdier.  With a little more modification, I think I'll have a decent fly when small olives are on the menu.

#18 olive flymph
Right about dark the fish were rising more steadily to sulfurs or more likely sulfur spinners.  I managed to land a couple browns in the fading light on a sulfur comparadun.  When I broke a third fish off, I called it night as it was too dark to see well enough to tie on another fly.  It was good to get out and catch some on dries.




12 comments:

  1. Mark
    I hate to hook a trout knowing it is a quality fish only to lose it at the last minute; but I guess that is what really motivates me try even harder to land the next one. I will be going next week to try the stimulator with pheasant tail dropper. I have decided that fishing a huge dry with a dropper fly is more productive for me than the traditional bobber indicator. One doubles their chances for a take. Beautiful Trout---thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - It certainly increases your chances but it may also increase you chances in that the big dry draws attention to a smaller nymph off the back. I've watched trout follow the big fly and then turn on the nymph as if they hadn't noticed it before.

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  2. You had a nice afternoon !!! Good job!! I will have to try your set up!!

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    1. Was a good afternoon, too bad you couldn't stick around. Now's the time to try the dry dropper, especially during the day when nothing is going on bug wise

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  3. Sounds like a lot of fun Mark - and I have to agree... It's fun to put a hopper dropper to the test!

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  4. Hibernation...I don't have a lot of luck with big hoppers but a size 12 stimulator (yellow or olive) does the trick around here. But you are right, it is fun to see that big slurp!

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  5. A nice job of making the best of a typically slower fishing time. The guys who give up on wets and nymphs at times like this are missing out, in my opinion.

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    1. Walt - I tend to agree with you. The dry dropper rig allows me to cover both options. I have also like to fish a wet behind a dry as well.

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  6. I'll try this set up next time. Still water fishing is up for my list this next weekend.

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    1. Jill - hope it works as well for you as it does for me this time of year

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  7. Sure like the buggy look of those "flymphs." Might have to give them a try. I've had the same hook straightening issue with Missouri River fish. The heavier hook is definitely the ticket.

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    1. Thanks Lester, the mustad R50's seem a bit on the light side to me

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